Junk Yard Dogs win Goodfellow basketball championship

Members of the 17th Mission Support Group Junk Yard Dogs pose for a group photo after winning the 2006-2007 Goodfellow Basketball Championship versus the1st Responders Feb. 16 at the Mathis Sports and Fitness Center gymnasium. Back row (from left to right): Laverne Jackson, Bryan Samuel, David Cucuzzi, Bo Westbrooks, Mike Thompson, Brian Stansbury and Darryl Parker. Front row (from left to right): Douglas Hennen, Omar Matos, Brian Williams (Coach) and Antwain Gooding, Players Joshua Swisher and Brian Henry and Coach Aaron Lemke were not available for photo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Thelma Soltero)

Members of the 17th Mission Support Group Junk Yard Dogs pose for a group photo after winning the 2006-2007 Goodfellow Basketball Championship versus the1st Responders Feb. 16 at the Mathis Sports and Fitness Center gymnasium. Back row (from left to right): Laverne Jackson, Bryan Samuel, David Cucuzzi, Bo Westbrooks, Mike Thompson, Brian Stansbury and Darryl Parker. Front row (from left to right): Douglas Hennen, Omar Matos, Brian Williams (Coach) and Antwain Gooding, Players Joshua Swisher and Brian Henry and Coach Aaron Lemke were not available for photo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Thelma Soltero)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 17th Mission Support Group Junk Yard Dogs defeated the 1st Responders to become the 2006-2007 Goodfellow Basketball Association champions Feb. 16 at the Mathis Sports and Fitness Center gymnasium.

"Our record never really mattered to us; we were only concerned with getting better and playing as a team. We struggled early as we learned our roles and the challenges that off-duty intramural schedules bring to keep a consistent squad down the stretch," Aaron Lemke, JYD coach, said. "The guys showed some real heart and pulled together at the end of the season for a dominating playoff run," the coach added.

The game started off a bit slow for the Junk Yard Dogs as they only managed to score 13 points in the game's first quarter trailing behind the 1st Responders by seven points. "We struggled to get things going in the beginning. We had played the 1st Responders earlier in the regular season and lost to them by three points, so we knew they were a good team. We knew we had to come together once again as a team and play our game if we wanted to keep it from being another close game and a potential loss," JYD power forward, Bryan Samuel, said. The competitiveness of the teams began to be more evident in the second quarter as the Dogs took the lead with a score of 37 to 31.

The 1st responders kept the game close early in the third quarter, but the JYD began to break away after a few minutes ending the third with a score of 54 to 47. The MSG took the momentum from the third quarter into the fourth quarter and didn't look back as they finished the game with a score of 84 to 59.

"We are going for the sweep baby," Eric Stansbury a member of the JYD flag football team and brother of Brian Stansbury who plays for both the 17 MSG JYD basketball and flag football team. Stansbury's response came as a result of the JYD being Goodfellow's current flag football and base champions. The Dogs now have their eyes set on the upcoming soft-ball season in which they hope to make base history by winning the base championships in flag football, basketball and softball, potentially making it the first time the 17th Mission Support Group has captured the base's triple crown.